I am the second born in a family of five siblings. My older brother is a little less than two years older than me. While growing up, I can remember my mother dressing me exactly like my older brother. This happened quite frequently, especially while we were young. I remember people asking her if we were twins. I thought that was really strange since I was two years younger, smaller and did not look like my brother at all. (I am better looking) Then my twin sisters were born. Identical twins. They were the cutest little girls. They looked exactly alike. Even until recently their husbands have mistaken their identity. This has led to many interesting moments in our family.
I don’t know what mom was thinking, but after the twins were born the matching outfit thing became more regular. I caught up to my brother quickly in size and for a number of years it actually looked like there were two sets of twins in the family. I admit it probably looked cool to have two sets of twins. We drew a lot of attention from people in churches, restaurants and malls. Everywhere we went, people would crowd around the ‘church twins’. They thought it was cute, but it was actually an identity crisis times two.
As I grew older, I did not appreciate being dressed like my brother, and he felt the same way. It wasn’t so cool anymore. We weren’t twins and were not anything alike. I didn’t want to be like my brother and he didn’t want to be like me. In fact, we wanted to be as different from one another as possible. My twin sisters came to feel the same way. Thankfully, mom gave up on the ‘two sets of twins’ thing and our unique identities were preserved.
We live in a world today of ‘identity crisis times two’. Everybody wants to be like somebody else. Look like somebody else. Talk like somebody else. Live like somebody else. It is no different in the church. It is part of man’s nature. We want to preach like somebody else. Sing like somebody else. Build a church like somebody else. Inherently, we look to others successes and desire the same for ourselves.
Perhaps that is why one of the Ten Commandments states;
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
It is a great thing to desire success. It is a great advantage to be able to use methods and ideas from those who have had success. I am all for that. I am all for mentoring and being mentored. You ought to use every advantage you can for the benefit of the Kingdom. But it is another thing if you lose your identity in the process. God has not called you to be somebody else. God made you just as you are for a purpose.
Most of us in ministry feel that somebody else can do it better. However, that is not how God feels about you.
20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
God has made you perfect. You, not somebody else, are perfect to do every good work. You, not somebody else, are perfect to do His will. You, not somebody else, are well pleasing in His sight. The faults that you think you have are all part of God’s perfect creation in you. They make you who you are.
King David was able to say;
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
God has made you unique and perfect. There never was and never will be anyone exactly like you. Your DNA confirms it. You cannot be reproduced. If a copy of you could be made it would not be exactly like you, it would be a little different than you.
God has called you, not somebody else, to do a work unique to you. That calling is without repentance. There are people you can reach that nobody else in this world can reach. Don’t try to be anybody else but yourself. God wants you to be you. You are a masterpiece created uniquely by Him and you are precious in His sight. Use the abilities God has given you with confidence knowing it is ‘well pleasing’ to God.